By Kathlene McGovern
"Note To Self" by Consuelo Martinez appears on pg. 35 of the Fall 2017 Print Issue of Inscape Magazine.
I’m a writer. I am a writer. It’s taken me a long time to embrace that notion – not that I write or that I like (love) writing or that it takes up a lot of my time because I more than like (love) it. What’s taken me a long time is to acknowledge the simple fact that I am a writer. That is my vocation.
Now, while there tends to be a certain amount of cadence and rhythm and, dare I say poetry, in the way I string together words, I am not currently, nor have I ever been, a poet. A realization I have again and again when we discuss the poetry pieces in consideration for publication in Inscape; when I receive those kind, patient, yet interminable silences after making my suggestions for a revision or edit.
I don’t blame them. The Silent Ones… the poetry gurus. Truly, I know nothing. Rhyming couplets, cinquains, quatrains, free verse, simile, acrostic alliteration… I could go on and on about all I don’t know but that’s just gonna be me, trolling Google, because, well, I don’t know.
They say that poetry is supposed to be like wine… and modern art… and… foreign films, don’t they? You don’t have to know anything about it you just have to know what you like.
So I’m in luck because I like (love) Consuelo Martinez’s poem. And while I can’t explain to you exactly why we chose it (for the many reasons listed above) I can definitely tell you why I like (love) Note To Self.
I am a pasty, Anglo-Saxon who has to darken my blonde eyebrows just so they won’t disappear into my pale forehead. My name has absolutely no biblical significance (if you find a reference to a Kathlene in any of the Corinthians, I’ll eat my hat), and no one ever tried to usurp my culture – potatoes and Irish whiskey have never been much of a threat. Yet this woman, Consuelo Martinez, with her former uni-brow, saintly name and acculturated heritage, knows me. She gets me. She is me.
That’s the absolute gorgeousness of “Note To Self”, and Martinez’s uncanny ability to ascend aesthetic and cultural differences and totally nail me (you) with the advice she would give to the girl she was before…
your eyebrows will get better
you are your grandmother’s legacy
grip onto your rosary and do not be afraid to let God in even if it’s just that night
And most of all:
you are a writer
tell boys not to fall in love with YOU because you’ll make them your muse
tell them to consume you at their own risk
because you will write them so good
they won’t even know where to hurt
I may not know anything, but I know that’s poetry.
Because I like (love) it. So will you.